Sunday, 27 January 2019

Review: Evermore by Sara Holland

Summary: Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.

- Add to GoodReads
Unfortunately, the conclusion to the Everless duology was disappointing. 

I think my main issue with Evermore was that it was missing the element that made book one so interesting, i.e. the time is currency aspect. 

Evermore is basically focused on Jules running away from Caro, while at the same time trying to find a way to destroy her. There were a lot of flashbacks to their shared past together, and these flashbacks were used as a way to reveal answers which I thought was a bit of a cop out. The plot felt dragged out and the constant repetition didn't help matters. I never really felt any sense of excitement when I came back to the book after putting it down, I just wanted it to end, which is never a good sign.

The romance was kind of just there for me, it was nothing to write home about. I feel like there was potential, but it was lacking chemistry. 

The ending wrapped things up, however, Holland left it so that there could potentially be room for another book. Suffice to say I won't be reading it if there is, as at this point I'm no longer interested. 


Sunday, 6 January 2019

Review: Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Summary: High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

- Add to GoodReads
Publication date: 12/02/2019

The Witchlands series is probably one of my favourite on-going series'. I've been impatiently waiting for the release of book three, and the fact that it's Aeduan's story had me even more excited.

As with the previous books, Bloodwitch, switches perspectives, with Aeduan's being the central point of view. I have shipped Aeduan and Iseult since the first time they crossed paths in Truthwitch. So, it's no surprise then that my favourite parts of Bloodwitch where when they were together - like I tried to slow down and savour those moments when I got to them, yet at the same time  I couldn't read fast enough. Dennard has done such a good job with creating tension between these two - they are the definition of slow burn.

If you're looking for a YA fantasy which features complex and multi-layered female characters this is the one. I love how Dennard has created female characters that are strong, but in different ways. She shows that the term "strong female character" doesn't just mean being able to fight and not liking feminine things - which I really appreciated as this is something that frustrates me.

A character who I absolutely fell in love with in Bloodwitch was Leopold. I really enjoyed his interactions with Iseult, but he's still a bit of a mystery, so I'm hoping we get to learn more about him in the next book.

The overall plot was amazing, and I liked all the interconnecting story-lines. All in all, Bloodwitch was a fantastic addition to the Witchlands series!


Sunday, 17 June 2018

Ships from books I've read so far this year

Hey, guys! Today I'm sharing my ships from some books I've read so far this year.

Laia and Elias from A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Catherine and Tzsayn from The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Rielle and Audric from Furyborn by Claire Legrand 

Theo and Soren from Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian 

Noemi and Abel from Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray

Who are you shipping from the books you've read so far this year?  😃

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Review: Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray

Summary: Noemi Vidal has returned to her planet, Genesis, as an outsider - ostracised for refusing to end the Liberty War by sacrificing Abel, the most advanced mechanical man ever made. She dreams of travelling through the stars again, and when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. The only soldier to have ever left her planet, it will be up to her to save its people. If only she wasn't flying right into a trap.

Abel, now fully aware of his soul and captaining his own Vagabond ship, never dreamed he'd see Noemi again, not when the entire universe stands between them. But when his creator Burton Mansfield delivers news of Noemi's entrapment, Abel knows he must save her, even if it means risking his own life.

Danger lurks in the dark corners of the galaxy, and Abel and Noemi will discover a secret that could save Genesis and Earth... or destroy them all. 

- Add to GoodReads
I feel like the first book in this planned trilogy, Defy the Stars, is so under-rated. If you didn't like Gray's Evernight series don't let that put you off these books. They are diverse, action packed reads with root worthy characters.

I'm going to be honest and admit that it took me a second to get back into the world. The reason why is because I wasn't expecting the two main characters, Abel and Noemi, to be spending the first half of the book apart. What made book one so interesting was Noemi and Abel's adventure together. However, I was determined not to DNF it because I loved book one so much, and in the end I'm so glad I did. My initial struggle to get back into the world didn't last too long, after about 5% Noemi and Abel's separate story arcs took off. I got sucked right back in, and was eagerly waiting for them to reunite. As with the first book there's diversity, religion, and philosophical pondering which I enjoyed.

The relationship between Abel and Noemi is literally the definition of a slow burn romance.  There's no rush to say the L world, instead Gray's takes time exploring their feelings for one another. I always prefer when there's a build up of tension, and hints of thing to come in book one of a series. Then in book two you see it come to fruition like yesss!

The ending was shocking! I didn't see it coming and it makes me wonder what direction the conclusion will take.


Friday, 30 March 2018

Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Summary: The queen you were meant to be
The land you were meant to save
The throne you were meant to claim

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed Ash Princess. 

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't ignore her feelings and memories any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. 

Forced to make impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become Queen.

- Add to GoodReads
Publication date: 24/06/18 (UK)

Ash Princess was an addictive page-turner that held my attention from start to finish. Whenever I had to put it down I was always eager to return. I even took to reading it on the Kindle app on my phone when I was out, which is something I never do, because I can't stand reading on anything but my Kindle. 

A warning to readers who are not a fan of books featuring violence and dark subject matters, Ash Princess doesn't shy away from either. The plot sounds like a typical YA fantasy what with the conquered land, a princess out for revenge, and the "love triangle" with her rebel ally and enemy Prinz. However, despite the tropes I found the world Sebastian has created interesting and not at all cliche. Theo's inner struggle and character development was really well done. She was forced to make some hard decisions, and I was fully rooting for her throughout.

In regards to the "love triangle" (and I say love triangle loosely) I honestly didn't mind it. I can't believe I'm saying that, but it's true. It's quite possibly the only love triangle I've read that hasn't made me mad and want to DNF the book. I think it's largely due to the fact that it's not your typical love triangle. Theo isn't constantly mooning over the two love interests. She has fleeting thoughts here and there, but it doesn't overtake her main concern: overthrowing the enemy and reclaiming her land. Also, to me at least, it's obvious where her heart truly lies. 

Overall, a very compelling read. I can't wait for the sequel!  


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Review: The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

- Add to GoodReads
The Queen's Rising was on my list of most anticipated 2018 releases, but it didn't turn out to be quite what I was expecting. A large part of the story is based in Magnalia House, the place where Brienna attempts to learn how to master her passion. The pacing of this part of the book was very slow, and I found the time spent at the house to be over-drawn and boring. When Brienna does finally leave the house there is some action, however, by this point I didn't care anymore. Personally, I need to be hooked from the beginning to be able to get fully immersed into a story.

An aspect of the book I did like was the female friendships. The relationship between Brienna and the other girls in the house was sweet and lacked the usual mean girls pitied against one another vibe. It was up lifting and refreshing.

I can't say I really disliked any of the characters, it was more that I felt disconnected from them. They were all very bland, Brienna included. Which leads me to the romance - although it was a slow burn I found it lacking. I didn't care enough for the characters to be able to ship them, and there was none of the usual tension and swoon that goes along with a good slow burn. 

The Queen's Rising wasn't my cup of tea, unfortunately.


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Review: Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, one of a handful of sisterhoods of highly trained elite warriors. Armed with blades whose metal is imbued with magic and guided by a strict code of conduct, the Orders are sworn to keep the peace and protect the people of Asiana. Kyra has pledged to do so—yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her murdered family.

When Tamsyn, the powerful and dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. She is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof.

Kyra escapes through one of the strange Transport Hubs that are the remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past and finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of a desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a disillusioned Marksman whose skill with a blade is unmatched. He understands the desperation of Kyra’s quest to prove Tamsyn’s guilt, and as the two grow closer, training daily on the windswept dunes of Khur, both begin to question their commitment to their Orders. But what they don’t yet realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is thin . . . as thin as the blade of a knife.

- Add to GoodReads 
Markswoman is the first book in a planned duology and I absolutely loved it. It takes place in Asiana many centuries after the Great War. There are several orders which protect the land from crime and outlaws, and Kyra is part of the Order of Kali.

The book is mostly told from Kyra's point of view, but it does occasionally flip to Rustan -the love interest's- point of view. I liked this as I always find it interesting getting a glimpse inside the love interest's head. Kyra is 19 and Rustan is 21, I think, which is quite unusual for YA. It does, however, give it a cross-over appeal.  The world building in Markswoman was well done, there was enough of it to get a general picture of what the world is like like, but it also leaves you with a desire to learn more - especially about the past, which I'm hoping will be explored in the sequel. 

Kyra and Rustan were both complex and likable characters, and I found myself easily rooting for them. I liked that Kyra didn't excel at everything, and that she struggled as it made her more relatable. I also enjoyed Kyra's friendship with Ninthe and Elena, and after a certain scene involving one of them am intrigued to see what role they will play in the sequel. 

Something I found refreshing was the role of women and men. In this world women are in power - all the Orders except one, the Order of Khur, is made up of women.

"Mere men, sitting here as if they are our equals."

"Men wielding kataris, it's a disgrace." 

The only thing I disliked about Markswoman was how rushed the romance was. As I mentioned I adored both Kyra and Rustan, and I was fully ready to start shipping them. The problem was, however, that there was no build up or tension between them. They meet 40% into the book and after a month they're suddenly in love having had only one real conversation (at about 63%) that wasn't about training. It just wasn't believable. 

Overall, a great read and I can't wait for the conclusion! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...